NES Project's 1,000th Participant — All About Marty Carmicle

Marty Carmicle

NASA Explorer Schools welcomed the 1000th teacher to the NASA Explorer Schools project this past month: Marty Carmicle. She joins over a thousand NASA Explorer Schools educators from all 50 states; Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; and Department of State schools in Turkmenistan and Mexico.

Marty is in her 10th year of teaching at Casey County Middle School in Liberty, Ky., where she currently teaches both 7th- and 8th-grade mathematics classes. 

Marty’s favorite part of teaching is the “Ah ha!” moment when a student finally “gets” the concepts. She also likes working on special projects with her classes.  For example, she completed a project through the University of Kentucky early this year in which her students designed and built a hovercraft.  

Marty has used some NASA educational materials in the past and looks forward to seeing what the NASA Explorer School Virtual Campus has to offer.  

She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lindsey Wilson College, a master’s degree in education from Eastern Kentucky University, and a master’s degree in special education from Campbellsville University.

Welcome, Marty!

Project Update — Update your Virtual Campus E-mail Address

Mail iconYoucan now change your NASA Explorer Schools Virtual Campus log-in to a differente-mail address. If you would like to update your contact information, please useyour preferred account to send an e-mail to In the body of thee-mail, state your name, current Virtual Campus log-in e-mail address and yournew e-mail address. The following business day, you will be able to log intothe Virtual Campus using your new e-mail address. All future NES communicationswill be sent to you at the new e-mail address. Remember to add the domains to your e-mail account’s safe senders list.

Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.

NES Recognition Opportunities

Are you hoping to become eligible to receive NASA Explorer Schools teacher recognition and have the opportunity to attend a multiday research experience at one of the NASA centers this summer? To be eligible for NES recognition, complete one of each of the three core activities: a classroom teaching material, an e-professional development session, and a NASA Now event with your students. 

Do you know you can track your progress toward eligibility on the Virtual Campus? To follow your progress on completed activities, sign in to the Virtual Campus and click on the “My Activities” button in the left-hand navigation panel. There you will find the name, type and date of each completed activity. Activities are logged into your Virtual Campus record once you complete the associated survey found on the Virtual Campus activity page. If you do not see one of your activities in your record, you may have forgotten to fill out the survey. You may go back to the activity page and fill out the survey to get credit for your work. 

If you would like help selecting appropriate resources to complete your eligibility requirements, please feel free to call the help desk 800 number, send e-mail to the help desk, or join one of our Live Help Desk sessions, Office Hours, on Thursdays at 8 a.m., 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. EST. One of the NES educational specialists can help you identify resources that meet the needs of your classroom curriculum. 

NES teacher recognition applications must be submitted by close of business on March 31, 2011, so complete your final activities and apply for the exclusive opportunity to be recognized by NES for your dedication to the project.

Sort Feature Added to the Virtual Campus

A search/sort function has been added to the NASA Now and Teaching Materials sections of the NASA Explorer Schools Virtual Campus. Use the check boxes to search for items designed to support specific grade levels and subjects. The sort feature also has a keywords search to help further narrow the results. Don’t overlook the Show All button if you want to peruse the entire portfolio of items. You can search on a single element or any combination of elements.

Digital Playlist Presentations on the Virtual Campus

Eventually, each teaching module on the NASA Explorer Schools Virtual Campus will have an extensive set of digital playlist items for a teacher to use when presenting the module content. Included in the playlist, and already on the Virtual Campus, are excerpts from the on-demand e-Professional Development videos. Added recently are presentation files accompanied by a screen-by-screen script. The files are in PDF format and can be shown to students as a slide show. Presentations are currently available for the following: 
   • Black Hole Math
   • Earth Climate Course
   • Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber
   • Engineering Design Challenge: Spacecraft Structures
   • Engineering Design Challenge: Water Filtration
   • Exploring Space Through Math: Lunar Rover
   • Fingerprints of Life

Coming very soon are presentations and scripts for the following:
   • Rockets Educator Guide
   • Math and Science @ Work
   • MESSENGER: Staying Cool

Presentations for the remaining modules will be announced in future e-blasts and Teachers Corner posts as the presentations are added to the Virtual Campus. To access the presentation files, log into the Virtual Campus. Go to one of the modules listed above and open the Materials Needed component in the right column. Look for files called Presentation Slides and Presentation Script. Larger presentations are spread across several files to minimize your download times.

Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.

NES Virtual Campus Gets a Partial Facelift

Virtual Campus home page.The NASA Explorer Schools Virtual Campus is sporting a new home page. Items You Don’t Want to Miss is a set of rotating graphics, centered on the home page. The graphics are designed to give you additional information about featured NES topics and provide a richer Web experience for everyone coming to the site. If you’re interested in finding more information about a particular topic displayed in the graphic window, click on the graphic. Each of the individual graphics is hot-linked to further information about that topic. If the graphic changes before you can select the item, use the sequence counter in the bottom left corner of the graphics window.

Take a look at the new panels in the left column of the home page. A link now takes you to the sign-up page for the NASA Education Express listserv. The Express is NASA’s Office of Education weekly newsletter that provides information about current NASA education opportunities, competitions, solicitations and more. All NES participants are urged to subscribe to the Express listserv.

Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.

NASA Explorer Schools Recognition Opportunity

A computer graphic of a certificate with a red ribbonWould you like to receive recognition from NASA for your participation in the NASA Explorer Schools Project?  Would you like to have the unique opportunity to participate in an all-expenses-paid, multi-day research experience at a NASA center?  Are you committed to promoting and inspiring your students’ interest in STEM subjects?  If so, then you should apply for NES recognition!

How do you become eligible to apply for NES recognition?  
You will be invited to apply for NES recognition once you have completed one of each of the core NES activities: use one NES teaching material; participate in one electronic professional development session; and use one NASA Now event with your students.  To receive credit, you must complete the online survey associated with each activity. NES will notify teachers when they are eligible to submit their application.

What is the recognition application? 
The recognition application is 14 items in total – and asks you to document your experiences while participating in the NES project, explain your students’ interaction with NES activities and describe your innovative use of NES materials to promote student engagement in STEM education. The application is available for viewing on the Virtual Campus, however, only eligible teachers will be able to fill out and submit an application.

What opportunities are available for recognized teachers? 
NES offers successful applicants the chance to participate in a multi-day, research experience at a NASA center this summer.  In these unique opportunities, teachers interact with NASA researchers and scientists about NASA’s current missions and research and develop strategies to incorporate this information into classroom learning.  Descriptions of the opportunities can be found on the teacher recognition application. 
What is the NES teacher recognition timeline?
   • Early February: Eligible teachers will be notified. Notification continues through the end of Mar., as teachers become eligible.
   • April 1: Final submission day for teacher applications
   • Early May: Successful applicants are notified

What kind of support is available for applicants throughout this process?
NES staff are available to answer questions and provide support through the help desk e-mail, phone number or live office hours.  You are also encouraged to visit the NES NEON forums and read through the discussions where teachers and NES staff post stories about classroom best practices and innovative use of project materials. This is an excellent opportunity to gain ideas for your own classroom, as well as share your best practices with the NES community (plus, participating in the NEON discussions will earn points on your recognition application). 

For more information regarding the NES recognition opportunities and to see a planning version of the application, visit the Recognition Opportunities section on the NES Virtual Campus.

Remember to Complete On-line Surveys

Have you filled out the online surveys for all of the NASA Explorer Schools activities you have completed? It is important to fill out the surveys for each one, as filling out the surveys is the only way to receive credit for that activity. The surveys ask no more than ten questions and should take less than five minutes to complete.

Completing the surveys counts towards your eligibility for the NES Recognition Program. To become eligible to apply for NES Recognition and have the opportunity to participate in a unique NASA event, you must complete one of each of the core NES activities:

  Use of Teaching Materials.
  Participate in Electronic Professional Development (Live or On-Demand).
  View a NASA Now Event.

If you fill out the surveys, we will know that you have used the NES Resources and you become eligible for NASA recognition.

Additionally, the surveys offer you the opportunity to give us feedback on NES resources. We place great value on the comments we receive from teachers and will use this information to make improvements to the NES selection of resources. 
Are you unsure of where to find the surveys? Each Virtual Campus page for the Teaching Materials, Electronic Professional Development videos, and NASA Now events has a unique survey button located on the bottom right-hand of the page, indicated by an easy-to-spot yellow clipboard symbol.

Log onto the NES Virtual Campus today and fill out surveys for any activities you already have completed. Also remember to do so for all activities now and in the future. We are looking forward to receiving your feedback!

Become a NES Champion

A NES Champion is a NASA Explorer Schools participant who shares the resources and opportunities of NES by encouraging other teachers to get involved by promoting NES by word of mouth, showing teachers the Virtual Campus, sharing NASA Now videos or promo videos, and distributing promotional flyers and/or presentation materials. NES Champion Teachers can earn points in the “Community Engagement” category of the Recognition application by building awareness of NES and NASA opportunities within their schools, districts, professional networks and communities. They can highlight these efforts in their application to receive NES Recognition and be selected to participate in a unique NASA experience. 

NASA Explorer Schools Project Update

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get back to academics by taking advantage of the wealth of NASA-based classroom resources and learning opportunities that we can provide. NES will offer your students monthly chats that feature scientists, researchers and engineers.

Our next chat is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 21 at 2:00 p.m. EST. We also will offer another series of live electronic professional development webinars for educators. We look forward to having you or your school participate again this spring. And if you are not an NES participant, join now!